Just before half-time in the game against Penrith, Saints’ supporters, encouraged by an enthusiastic performance against a good side, entertained the idea that, slowly, the team was coming to terms with the demands of North One West. At full time, that optimism had evaporated and the conversations in the clubhouse were more realistic. Would we survive at Level 6?
The Saint has, unscientifically, gathered some statistics and invites the reader to form their own conclusions.
We first played in North One West in 2011-12 and lasted two seasons. Then, as now, there were fourteen teams playing a total of twenty-six games. In our first season, we finished 10th, one place behind Wirral. We won ten games, got nine bonus points and survived with fifty-one points. After ten games on November 5 2011, we had won three games, were 11th, with three bonus points and seventeen points, so there was an identifiable improvement as the season progressed, enabling us to survive.
The following season, 2012-13, we finished 12th. We won nine games, got four bonus points and were relegated with thirty-five points. After ten games on November 12th 2012, we had won four games, were 12th, with no bonus points and eleven points. Ironically, we had won more games at this stage but did not improve enough to prevail.
This season, after nine games, we have won two, have three bonus points and ten points. The bottom three currently are the three promoted sides, Broughton Park, ourselves and De La Salle, perhaps indicating the vast gap between Level 6 and Level 7.
These three are not bad sides. Just over six months ago, they were champions and play-off winners. Last season, Manchester survived in North One West with forty-eight points and Altrincham Kersal were demoted with forty-two points. If one assumes that fifty points is the target, Anselmians have to accrue forty points from seventeen games of which eight are at “home”, and nine away. That is an average of 2.3 points a game as opposed to a current average of 1.1 points a game.
Oh, and two were relegated last season and it’s three to drop out this term. Whichever way it is spun, it is not looking good, but who bet on this team to achieve promotion and score sixty-five points without reply last May against Aspatria?
After all, we all know the phrase, attributed to Benjamin Disraeli, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics”.